PerspectiveImmunology

The immunological code of pregnancy

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Science  30 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6456, pp. 862-863
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw1300

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Summary

Various factors contribute to the hypertensive placental disease preeclampsia, fetal growth restriction (FGR), spontaneous abortion, preterm labor, and stillbirth. Some of these problems are due to placental dysfunction (1). The placenta attaches to and invades deep into the decidua, the specialized uterine mucosa that is rich in maternal immune cells. Because the placenta is formed from the fetus and contains genetic material from another individual (the father), it should be targeted by the maternal immune system but it usually is not. By understanding the interactions between the placenta and the maternal immune system, interventions to improve pregnancy outcomes could be developed.

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